Archive for December, 2020

Early Decision and Early Action: Dealing with College Rejection

December 14, 2020

Students are often encouraged to apply to colleges early decision because many schools take a higher percentage of applicants from this group. What you aren’t told is that the students who apply early are frequently the strongest academically and in other areas. This makes the applicant pool more competitive. Thus, in the next two weeks, many students will be getting the sort of bad news that no one wants to receive: the college rejection letter.

You probably wonder what you did wrong and the answer is “nothing.” There are simply too many students applying for too few available spots. Colleges are trying to put together a freshman class made up of students with diverse backgrounds, interests, and geographic locations. Therefore, students often get rejected from a college based on things that have nothing to do with their academics or other qualifications.

Just because your first choice school turned you down doesn’t mean the consequences are as devastating as they might seem right now. You would be surprised at the number of successful people in the world who have experienced the same college rejection. Some say it turned out better in the long run because they reconsidered their other college choices and found a school that might have been a better fit to begin with.

College rejection should never be taken personally. It may seem like a personal attack on your character, but it isn’t. It might be a serious blow to your self-esteem, but you are still a valuable person. I know of one high school that created a “wall of shame” where everyone who was rejected was encouraged to bring their letter and post it. This helped everyone realize they were not alone and gave them an opportunity to talk about their disappointment and where they planned to go from there.

The college admission process is complicated and is often based on factors other than your GPA, SAT and ACT scores, and college essays. Sometimes students apply to schools early decision because they are highly competitive, in a very desirable location, or perhaps just a family favorite. A college rejection from these schools might make your parents just as sad as you are. Show them that you can adapt and not allow this to threaten your future.

If you have already applied to other colleges, turn your focus to them. Are there any others you might like to consider? If you have not applied to any other schools, you need to get busy. You do have other options and many of them could turn out to be great choices where you will be accepted. Many colleges have application deadlines in January, but others are rolling admissions which means that there is plenty of time to get your applications completed.

It is important to understand that a college rejection letter is only one missed opportunity, and there will be many other opportunities for you in the future. As difficult as it may seem, college rejection builds character. This is your chance to stand up to this adversity and not let it discourage you. Adversity can lead to resilience and that is the one trait that colleges value most.

#earlyaction #earlydecision #collegerejection #rejectedfromyourdreamschool

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Is Community Service Essential for College Admissions?

December 6, 2020

College admissions officers expect to see community service as part of your extracurricular activities. Community service is a great way to get involved in your city or town and gain valuable experience in areas that interest you. Not only does it feel good to get out there and help others, but your experiences may help you learn about future career interests. Volunteers are a vital part of all communities. Every year more and more college scholarships are based on community service and volunteering.

The fall and winter are times of the year when the importance of volunteering should be most apparent. Feeding the hungry, collecting clothing for the needy, and tutoring students in low performing schools are all ways that you can donate your time and energy towards the members of your community. Community service is an important factor for college admissions.

Performing community service will give you not only a sense of responsibility but also make you proud of where you live. It will also give you satisfaction that you were able to make a difference. Extracurricular activities and volunteering in particular, show that you are a well-rounded individual and you know how to manage your time efficiently.

Community service should involve activities that reinforce your interests. If you are an athlete, get involved in the Special Olympics. If teaching is a career you are considering, tutor young children in an after school program. If you are interested in medicine, spend an afternoon a week working at a hospital. Getting involved in the community shows that you are a responsible citizen.

College applications should not just highlight your GPA and test scores. They are also a place to demonstrate that you are a person who is concerned with others. Colleges look at academic performance as well as a student’s involvement in school and in the community. Colleges may admit you because you have a perfect 4.0, play an instrument, sing in a choir, or actively participate in a varsity sport. Volunteering can also boost an applicant’s chances for college admissions.

Community service in the real world is a way to build social and career skills. It is also a great way to meet many different people from all walks of life while making many new friends along the way. Colleges are looking for students who volunteer with passion, commitment and enthusiasm. They are interested in students who have pursued their community service over a period of time as opposed to a few days of volunteering here and there.

Students can also be creative in finding their own community service projects. Don’t just do something generic because it is easy. If you see a need, find a solution. Most importantly, volunteering is the right thing to do even if you are not concerned with college admissions.

Susie Watts is an educational consultant and college planner in Denver, Colorado. She is the founder of College Direction. Susie helps students with their college search, applications and essays, and provides college assistance throughout the college admissions process.